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Need help training!

547 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  3GSD4IPO
Hello, I have a year and almost 4 month old lab cross puppy. She is quite smart, a quick learner however she is stubborn and only listens when she wants and obviously we want her to always obey our commands. The main issues we have are as follows:
1. Jumping/ getting excited/biting
When we get home from being out she will jump and sometimes play bite and that’s not the ideal reaction. We want biting to be for her toys only and we don’t allow jumping but we are not sure how to prevent this. We’ve tired ignoring this behaviour, unfortunately often times my mom and brother result to hitting or kicking her however rather than hurting her (which I know this isn’t the kind of relationship you should have with your dog) this only gets her more excited as she is a big dog and the problem only gets worse. Lately the only thing that calms her down is putting her on a leash and then she goes to lay down the majority of the time but we want to be able to have A calm welcome home to not only us but to company we have over as she is super super friendly and so easily excitable this brings me to the second issue
2. We live on an acreage that consists of a lot of open field. We used to be able to let her be free but over the last few months my mom has made the decision that she needs to be tied up all the time. We want to be able to trust her to stay on our land for both others safety and hers however whenever there is any sort of wild life (birds, coyotes, fox, rabbit etc.) she must go chase it. There is nothing that will stop her from going full tilt at whatever animal she comes across. Even when we tie her up, she has ripped through her collar once, and ripped through a rope (was already a bit cut) because she goes wild. She will bark and pull like crazy until the animal leaves. Obviously we don’t want her going after anything potentially dangerous and we want to be able to have that trust. But even if we are outside with her she will go chase them and no longer listen to us. This is the same for people but at a less extreme level. There will often be people walking or biking down the road and she will follow them sometimes, and we don’t think she would stop and come back when they get too far, we fully believe she will just follow as far and they go. She actually ran into the neighbours yard and caused a little scene trying to play with their dogs. Obviously for now we will keep her tied up for both when at rest, and when we take her to play but we don’t want this to always be he reality, ideally we should be able to trust her to stay near us without being tied up when we are outside working or playing.

any tips to help either of these issues would be great. We’ve tried a lot of things and after a few months my mom specifically has lost all her patience with the dog and whenever she acts up just ties her up outside and eliminates the problem rather than dealing with it which in my observation has had my dog acting up even more so than she did as she is tied up most of the day which she is a sudden change.
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1. Jumping and play biting out of excitement is a very common young dog issue. Ignoring is the honestly the quickest solution if done consistently. That means EVERYONE must be on the same page and agree to be consistently practice ignoring the behavior.

My dog was a HORRIBLE jumper, actually jumping up and poking you in the face with his nose. The only thing that helped was crossing my arms and continuing to turn away from him while he was being nuts until he sat down. When he sat, I would offer attention. Usually, he would then get excited again and try to jump, so I would again ignore him until he settled down. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

It is not an overnight solution, but if you consistently refuse to give her attention until all four paws are on the ground, she will develop the habit of never jumping up, because she knows attention happens when she is on the ground. Age also helps. It's difficult for young dogs (usually from puppies to around 1-2 years old) to control their impulses. As they age, they are more able to control that impulse to jump up for attention, but it is no substitute for training.

It will likely help to tell your family that any attention is good attention in this situation, even hitting and kicking. It will only make the issue worse.

For guests, having them on board to do the same ignoring thing will help. Or, put the dog on a leash and step on the leash so they physically cannot jump up.

2. Your mother made the right decision in putting the dog on a leash when outdoors. Your dog is basically a teenager at the moment, so blowing off recalls and other commands when more exciting things happen is very common. At this stage, keeping her on a long line is very important so it is impossible for her to blow off a recall. The more she is allowed to blow it off, the deeper ingrained the habit will become.

What recall training have you done in the past? It's important to use the BEST treats possible (like deli meat, cheese, hotdogs), and always start in a safe, low distraction environment. As she masters each step, you can move on to higher distractions and more difficult situations.

Also, always reward voluntary check ins. That's when you might be on a walk and the dog is wandering (on a long line, obviously, in the early training stages) and the dog comes up to visit you, and you reward. It helps establish a natural orbit and make the dog want to check in with you.

When you are using a long line, you should use a harness, too. If the dog takes off after an animal, you want their body and not their neck to take the force of them hitting the end of the line.

It may also be possible that your dog will never, ever be fully trustworthy off leash. That's something that you may have to accept. If she passes adolescence and is still more likely to take off than stay on your property, she's just not a good off leash candidate.
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1.) As mentioned above, IGNORING the dog when you first arrive is the best. The next best thing is to step into the dog's space (most people back up when a dog jumps up which invites more jumping up). Hitting is just the worse thing you can do.

2.) I too have acreage. I would never trust my dog to stay on my property when I am not with them (letting the dog out and not being out too). I have a nice fenced area attached to the house where then can go out and be safe. I also have two outdoor regular dog kennels (with wire tops and shade tarps) that are very secure if they need to be out for an extended time and I am not home.

For the second issue you might want to look at the booklet "Really Reliable Recall" (it has some good stuff in it). I would also suggest a securely fenced area and continue with the leash.
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